Story by Nikki Hood
No PJ Hall? No problem.
Chase Hunter and Al-Amir Dawes showed up Tuesday in a big way scoring 21 and 19 points, respectively in Clemson’s 80-69 win over Wake Forest at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson improves to 13-15 overall and 5-12 in the ACC while Wake Forest falls to 21-8, 11-7.
Clemson has won 14 out of the last 15 matchups in the series and seven in a row.
The Tigers were without the services of starters Hunter Tyson (broken clavicle) and PJ Hall (foot). Hall re-injured his foot in the first minute last Saturday at Louisville and was scratched from the game. One of the key pieces for the Demon Deacons also missed the contest – forward Isaiah Mucius (7.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG) didn’t feel well at the morning shootaround and was a late scratch. Another Wake Forest forward, Khadim Sy, left early with a leg injury and didn’t return.
Clemson led by as many as 13 in the first half. The teams traded early 3-pointers – a trend that would last the entire first half – and the Tigers went up by double digits when Alex Hemenway connected from deep to make it 18-8 halfway through the stanza.
A little over three minutes later, Honor drilled a 3-pointer off the fast break to give the Tigers a 28-15 lead with just over six minutes left to play in the half. However, Wake’s Damari Monsanto, starting in place of Mucius, got hot and hit 3-pointers in a short span and when Jake Laravia dunked with 2:21 to play in the half, Clemson’s advantage was down to two at 31-29.
The Tigers led 36-33 at intermission.
The two teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes of the second as Wake Forest cut Clemson’s lead to one at 46-45 on a Daivien Williamson three with 14:04 to play. Clemson answered though with an 8-0 run, including back-to-back threes from Al Amir-Dawes to give Clemson a 56-47 lead with just under nine minutes to play.
Dawes and Ian Schieffelin combined for a 5-0 Clemson run to give the Tigers its biggest lead of the game at 63-51 with 6:31 to play. Wake Forest went on an 11-3 run of its own on the back of Jake LaRavia to cut Clemson’s lead to 66-62 with 3:12 to play.
Wake Forest cut the lead to three points with 1:27 to play, but Clemson’s 11-2 run – including six made free throws by Dawes over the final minute –sealed the victory.
Clemson travels to The Heights to take on Boston College at the Conte Forum Saturday at 3 pm. The game is scheduled to be televised by the ACC Network. That game marks the last road of the regular season for the Tigers, who play their last two games at home against Georgia Tech and Virginia before heading to Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament.